How to Propagate a Confederate Rose Hibiscus


The confederate rose hibiscus is a woody perennial that reaches a height of 8 to 12 feet. The plant is native to China and hardy to plant in USDA growing zones 7 through 9 where the winters are mild. Propagate the confederate rose hibiscus by taking softwood stem cuttings in spring or semi-hardwood stem cuttings in mid summer. The plant has a high propagation success rate and produces roots quickly when placed in the proper environment.

Step 1

Cut a 6 to 8-inch softwood or semi-hardwood stem section from the rose hibiscus plant with a sharp knife. Take the cutting from new growth on the upper portion of the plant. Softwood cuttings are tender and beginning to harden. Semi-hardwood cuttings have mature leaves, the wood is firm and the cutting will snap when bent.

Step 2

Create a propagation rooting medium by mixing equal quantities of sterile peat moss, perlite and course sand. Lightly moisten the mixture with water so it feels damp but not wet. Fill the medium into a rooting tray.

Step 3

Remove all leaves from the bottom half of the rose hibiscus stem. Cut remaining leaves in half if they are large. Dip the cut end of the stem into powdered rooting hormone and stick into the rooting tray to a depth of 3 inches. Space the stems so the leaves do not touch.

Step 4

Mist the rose hibiscus cuttings and rooting medium with water. Cover the tray with a clear plastic bag to increase the humidity around the cuttings for root development. Place the rooting tray in a location that is approximately 70 degrees Fahrenheit with indirect sunlight.

Step 5

Open the bag several times a week to refresh the air. Monitor the rooting medium moisture and mist the cuttings and medium with water when needed. Open the bag for several days to dry out the rooting medium if it becomes too wet.

Step 6

Pull on the rose hibiscus cuttings after four weeks of growth to see if there is resistance from root development. Grow the cuttings until the roots reach a length of at least one inch.

Step 7

Transplant the cuttings into individual containers filled with a high quality potting soil. Place the containers in a sunny location and continue to grow the cuttings indoors for the first growing season.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp knife
  • Sterile peat moss
  • Perlite
  • Course sand
  • Rooting tray
  • Rooting hormone
  • Water
  • Water mister
  • Clear plastic cover
  • 4-inch growing containers
  • Potting soil
  • Isopropyl alcohol


  • North Carolina State University: Plant Propagation by Stem Cuttings
  • FloriData: Hibiscus mutabilis
  • Texas A&M University: Confederate Rose
Keywords: propagate confederate hibiscus, hibiscus stem cutting, confederate rose hibiscus

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.